A nice day at sea? N 21.39 W18.05

Salsa af Stavsnas
Ellinor Ristoff Staffan Ehde
Fri 30 Nov 2012 07:37
Is that possible?
By the way it might be good to know that I write at night and then post around 9 UTC next morning. Thats when we turn on the satellite phone and download weather forecast, send and receive mail. It is like the good old postman coming to your door at a specific time.
It is strange, we are so used to be showered with information and mails that they become a massconsumation we take for granted.
So after a hard start the weather became much better and today we had a very comfortable day where Salsa just sailed on most on her own. At lunchtime evrybody wanted food, so we fired up the kitchen and started with a simple Pizza. Very popular. For dinner the kids got panncake and the adults a fresh salad with avocados. But tonight Andreas and Ellinor fell back in bad stomack again. It is really hard to know with them if they got a delayed seasickness due to the other sickness. Erika and I never get seasick and we are doing fine now.
A day at sea is about checking the rigg, checking the hull, making food and wash up. Have some school with Erika, change sails and keep an eye on the horizon. We work in 4 hour shifts, one is on and right now the other sleeps as soon as we get off. Trying to catch up with the horrible start that gave almost no sleep at all in the beginning.
Some have written and asked about our route, as we started with 12 hours where the boat had to sail with what we had set up we ended up  very close to the African coast. A more active crew would probably have jibed 50 nM south of Las Palmas. The reason we started out with the course not following Las Palmas is that there is an accelleration zone along that coast, this means that winds can be the double of the normal wind at sea. That day we had very strong winds and would not take any risks.
As we ended close to the coast of Africa we jibed once to get out of the shallow waters as we commented earlier. We are keeping a course of about 210 degrees but so is Africa, this makes it look like we wont get any further west, but we are, mostly.
With a two handed crew it is important to make it as easy as possible and we have a sail set that gives the boat a steady coast with comfortable movements from the waves. We have the genua on pole as far out as possible and a hard reefed mainsail that is hauled in.
The genua gives speed forward and the main stabilizes the boat in the sea without shadowing the genua to much.
If we would want to move more westward with these winds we had to sheet out the main on the oppsite side and run a "butterfly", but with that set up, the boat starts to roll much more. We might have to do it sooner or later but we choose to avoid it now and that gives us a course that does not takes us to sea. We still have an average speed of 6,3 knots and that is OK with us.
We hope the forecast is right that when we get to 20 degrees and below we should find the tradewinds and can then start out to sea.
St Lucia is still south of us so we should not loose much on this course.
Now I have to check the horizon and plot our course, moon is shining and it is like daylight.